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Bach: Orgelbuchlein / Francesco Cera

Bach,J.s. / Cera / Coro Della Radiotelevisione
Release Date: 05/28/2013 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94639   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Francesco Cera
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The label’s PR blurb claims that this release is “an original concept: the Orgelbüchlein BWV 599-644 performed alternating the organ chorale with the same chorale sung by a choir.” Perhaps not that original, as others have done this.

Lack of originality and PR-exaggerations cannot diminish the magnificence of this reading at all, though. Given that most of the other recordings are hard to come by, it’s actually surprising how few discs there are that follow this concept. It is, after all, immensely pleasing - even enlightening. Speaking of enlightening: at first I was disappointed that the Brilliant release places the organ works before the sung chorales, seeing how the organ pieces developed from the choral pieces, and
Read more not the other way around. That’s how the other recordings order these works - except for Schauerte, who alternates the order. After a couple dozen, ever-enthused listenings I’ve changed my mind, though. In fact, this order helps the shorter choral interludes gain in weight and become equal partners, not just notable appetizers. That’s not just fair but a bonus, because the Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera under Diego Fasolis is one of the great strengths of this recording, and deserves every bit of the spotlight. Solo soprano duties in 14 chorales go to the equally lovely, moving Antonella Balducci, whose calm and darkly colored voice - with burnished hints of reed and wood and total lack of narcissism and bits of boyishness - puts the ears at divine ease.

Francesco Cera plays with that innate rhythm that establishes that irresistible, compelling pulse in Bach. His modern Mascioni opus 1182 organ (2008) of the ancient Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Giubiasco/Bellinzona (~1387), sounds clear and clean, strong, and confident. It is not at all bombastic or overwhelming; Bowyer’s Marcussen organ of Saint Hans/Odense tends in that direction. It’s neither chalky nor nasal as Warnier’s very fine French Grand Organ of St.Martin in Masevaux (Alfred Kern) does. Although it has a mechanical transmission, you can’t hear the nuts and bolts as you will, invariably, from the historical instrument in Luckau - in its own right a glorious Christoph Donat-built instrument - that Schauerte plays.

Det Fynske Kammerkor (Bowyers’ band) manages some chorales with almost chorister-like clarion-naïveté. The Immortal Bach Ensemble (and assorted soloists) impress with unparalleled transparency and pronounced rhythmic delivery. Here the Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera comes close, and adds an amount of heft that matches the organ and allows not having to record the voices too closely. Their contribution makes up for the only criticism I might muster - by providing very decent liner notes, Brilliant nixes another potential complaint in the bud - and that’s that the Mascioni organ sounds a little neutral compared the Luckau and Masevaux instruments. Well, that’s why I wouldn’t just want to have one recording of these works … but if I had to reduce to one, it would be Cera.

– Jens F. Laurson, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599-644 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Francesco Cera (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1714-1717; Weimar, Germany 

Sound Samples

Das Orgelbuchlein: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599
Das Orgelbuchlein: Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV 600
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by J. Roh): Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV 600
Das Orgelbuchlein: Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottessohn, BWV 601
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by E. Cruciger): Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottessohn, BWV 601
Das Orgelbuchlein: Lob sei dem allmachtigen Gott, BWV 602
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Weisse): Lob sei dem allmachtigen Gott, BWV 602
Das Orgelbuchlein: Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603
Das Orgelbuchlein: Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 604
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 604
Das Orgelbuchlein: Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BWV 605
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BWV 605
Das Orgelbuchlein: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 606
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 606
Das Orgelbuchlein: Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar, BWV 607
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar, BWV 607
Das Orgelbuchlein: In dulci jubilo, BWV 608
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): In dulci jubilo, BWV 608
Das Orgelbuchlein: Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich, BWV 609
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by N. Herman): Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich, BWV 609
Das Orgelbuchlein: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 610
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by J. Frank): Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 610
Das Orgelbuchlein: Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV 611
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV 611
Das Orgelbuchlein: Wir Christenleut, BWV 612
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by C. Fuger): Wir Christenleut', BWV 612
Das Orgelbuchlein: Helft mir Gotts Gute preisen, BWV 613
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by P. Eber): Helft mir Gotts Gute preisen, BWV 613
Das Orgelbuchlein: Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 614
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by J. Steurlein): Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 614
Das Orgelbuchlein: In dir ist Freude, BWV 615
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by J. Lindemann): In Dir ist Freude, BWV 615
Das Orgelbuchlein: Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 616
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 616
Das Orgelbuchlein: Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf, BWV 617
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by T. Kiel): Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf, BWV 617
Das Orgelbuchlein: O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 618
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 618
Das Orgelbuchlein: Christe du Lamm Gottes, BWV 619
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Christe du Lamm Gottes, BWV 619
Das Orgelbuchlein: Christus, der uns selig macht, BWV 620
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Christus, der uns selig macht, BWV 620
Das Orgelbuchlein: Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund, BWV 621
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund, BWV 621
Das Orgelbuchlein: O Mensch, bewein dein Sunde gross, BWV 622
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by S. Heyden): O Mensch, bewein dein Sunde gross, BWV 622
Das Orgelbuchlein: Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 623
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 623
Das Orgelbuchlein: Hilf Gott, dass mir's gelinge, BWV 624
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Hilf Gott, dass mir's gelinge, BWV 624
Das Orgelbuchlein: Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 625
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 625
Das Orgelbuchlein: Jesus Christus unser Heiland, BWV 626
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Jesus Christus unser Heiland, BWV 626
Das Orgelbuchlein: Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627
Das Orgelbuchlein: Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627
Das Orgelbuchlein: Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627
Das Orgelbuchlein: Erstanden ist der heilge Christ, BWV 628
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Anonymous): Erstanden ist der heilge Christ, BWV 628
Das Orgelbuchlein: Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag, BWV 629
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by N. Herman): Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag, BWV 629
Das Orgelbuchlein: Heut triumphieret Gottes Sohn, BWV 630
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by C. Stolshagius): Heut triumphieret Gottes Sohn, BWV 630
Das Orgelbuchlein: Komm, Gott Schopfer, Heiliger Geist, BWV 631
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Komm, Gott Schopfer, Heiliger Geist, BWV 631
Das Orgelbuchlein: Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend', BWV 632
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by Ernest II): Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend', BWV 632
Das Orgelbuchlein: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 634
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by T. Clausnitzer): Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 634
Das Orgelbuchlein: Leibster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 633
Das Orgelbuchlein: Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot, BWV 635
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot, BWV 635
Das Orgelbuchlein: Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 636
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Luther): Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 636
Das Orgelbuchlein: Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 637
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by L. Spengler): Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 637
Das Orgelbuchlein: Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BWV 638
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by P. Speratus): Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BWV 638
Das Orgelbuchlein: Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by J. Agricola): Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639
Das Orgelbuchlein: In dich hab' ich gehoffet, Herr, BWV 640
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by A. Reissner): In dich hab' ich gehoffet, Herr, BWV 640
Das Orgelbuchlein: Wenn wir in hochsten Noten sein, BWV 641
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by P. Eber): Wenn wir in hochsten Noten sein, BWV 641
Das Orgelbuchlein: Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten, BWV 642
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by G. Neumark): Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten, BWV 642
Das Orgelbuchlein: Alle Menschen mussen sterben, BWV 643
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text. J.G. Albinus): Alle Menschen mussen sterben, BWV 643
Das Orgelbuchlein: Ach wie nichtig, ach wie fluchtig, BWV 644
Das Orgelbuchlein, BWV 599-644 (text by M. Franck): Ach wie nichtig, ach wie fluchtig, BWV 644

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